Paws for Thought: Tails of a Therapy Cat

Cat head tilted and bookshelvesMeow! I am a cat therapist. No, I don’t have the fancy degree and years of experience like my human does—but like other pets in animal-assisted therapy settings, I collaborate with my human to help in the therapy process.

 

Man with cat and dogsSo what is it like to work with a therapy cat? First of all, I’ll introduce myself and welcome you in to the office. Therapy cats are here to make you comfortable; we’re pretty laid back and we like to go with the flow. Therapy cats are used to being handled and being around humans big and small, as well as other animals.

Nervous about going to therapy? Studies show the presence of a therapy cat will lower your anxiety as well as your stress level. Go ahead—pet us. We lower your blood pressure and help your brain release feel-good endorphins like oxytocin. This might help you talk more openly with our humans.

 

British Shorthair Cat on the ChairNow, have a seat—I’ve already warmed it up for you.

There are many of us—probably in therapy offices all over the world! Consider us a perk of therapy if we happen to be in the room to accompany you in your journey to better mental health.

My human and I know that working through therapy can be hard. Therapy cats see a lot of people who are in pain, but we can help comfort them in hard times. We’re here for you, just like our human is.

 

 

 

 

beautiful girl with fluffy kitten in her armsI can help people of all ages learn and grow while working through mental health issues. Humans have proven that cats like me can even help children with learning difficulties. Some kids read to me. I love the stories of faraway places, but the ones about dogs can be a bit ruff!

I can also lend an ear to someone working out language difficulties or someone experiencing problems with social interaction or anxiety. See, in our many lives we develop many talents!

 

 

 

 

cat-sleeping-on-stacks-of-paperPeople like visiting my office—excuse me, my human’s office—because both of us can listen to you without judgment. As for the paperwork? We’ll leave that up to the humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Aaron

    Aaron

    May 3rd, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    Therapy cats? Makes sense I guess I have heard of therapy dogs but never a cat. Guess that works though, some people aren’t dog people and would be reluctant to share in that situation of that is the animal they have been given. I like it, opens up options who wouldn’t have considered it before.

  • Quinn

    Quinn

    May 3rd, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    hehehe great perspective! love the idea of telling the story through the voice of the animal and how they can help bot their patients and their humans

  • solomon w

    solomon w

    May 5th, 2014 at 3:33 AM

    It can be so awesome for some patients to work with therapy animals. I think that there are some people who would actually feel so much calmer and get so much more out of their therapy experiences if they had an animal like this with whom they can sit and hold while they are talking about and doing the hard work. Creatures like this, while on the surface may not seem to have any real beenfit, can be enormously helpful in numerous health situations and crises. I wish that there were more therapists who could choose to utilize this method and that there were more patients who would be willing to try this for their own healing and recovery.

  • Amy Armstrong

    Amy Armstrong

    May 5th, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    I’m definitely in-favor of therapy animals. They are steady and reliable in being there for their humans. Long live therapy animals!

  • Robb

    Robb

    May 5th, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    If I am not an animal person in my day to day life then do you think that this could be helpful for me or a waste of time?

  • cecilia

    cecilia

    May 6th, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    I have heard too many success stories with this method of treatment that I could never not be a fan of using therapy animals to help people out in their sessions. I think that the great thing about any animal used in this way is that it gives patients an outlet for any kind of love that they are feeling but that they have maybe never really learned how to express or to share. And it is a great way to receive love back, with no judgement or expectation, an animal like this, or really any animal that you take as a pert and bring into your home is going to love you unconditionally. There are never any strings attached, just the desire to be walked and fed and loved right back in return.

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